Archive for the ‘Bible Accuracy’ Category

Last week we read that the Apostles didn’t write their letters until many years after the death of Jesus.  How do we
know their memories were correct?  How do we know their letters were correct?

Answer:  The Apostles didn’t keep the stories to themselves.  They verbally passed on the ministry of Jesus.
During the first century, story telling was taken very seriously.  It is how important ideas were passed down from
generation to generation.  It was how history was told.

Story telling wasn’t like whispering from one person to another and the story changing over time.  So serious was
story telling that the people listening would speak up and say, “Hey, that’s not correct!”  It was a community
event and the entire community held the speaker accountable.  It was about sacred holy tradition. 

Here are two versus of Peter and John explaining that they testified about Jesus.

2 Peter 1:16  We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:2  The life appeared;  we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life,
which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

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In Bible Accuracy 1 through 6 we read who were the authors of the bible, but many of these authors didn’t
write their letters until years after the events.  For example,

Mathew was written about 50AD, when the church was still largely Jewish, approximately 18 years after the
death of Jesus.

Luke was written about 59 AD to 63 AD, approximately 30 years after the death of Jesus.

John was written about 85 AD, more than 50 years after the death of Jesus.

1 Corinthians was written about 95 AD, approximately 62 years after the death of Jesus.

1 Timothy was written about 63 AD to 65 AD, more than 30 years after the death of Jesus.

Hebrews was written about 70 AD, approximately 37 years after the death of Jesus.

If the Apostles didn’t write their letters until 18 years to 62 years after the death of Jesus, how do we
know their memory was accurate?  How do we know the original scriptures were accurate?

We will answer this question next week.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

About 600 to 1000 years after the Dead Sea Scrolls were the Masoretic Text.  The Masoretes were a
group of Jewish scribes from 600 AD to 1000 AD.  They meticulously assembled and codified the traditional
Hebrew Bible or Old Testament.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, a language which originally did not use vowels.  To preserve the
writings, the Masoretes added vowels and diacritical marks above the vowels for correct pronoun-
ciation.  This version of the Hebrew Old Testament is known as the Masoretic Text.

The meticulous care in which the Masoretes edited the text was described by FF Bruce, a well respected biblical
scholar:

          The Masoretes wrote with the greatest imaginable reverence, and devised a complicated system of safe-
          guards against scribal slips.

          One group of scribes, known as the Masoretes, set its standard much higher than all other scribes.  The
          Masoretes counted every single letter, word, and verse of the Old Testament to preserve its accuracy.

Scholars have compared the text of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls with the text of Isaiah pre-
served by the Masoretes.  What they discovered was that- even with 600 to 1000 years difference in
text- the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic Text agreed word for word 95% of the time.  The re-
maining differences were from minor spelling variations.  Other scrolls like 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, and Deuteronomy
do not differ in any way that effects any crucial Jewish or Christian belief.

This shows the care in which the scribes had worked to maintain scriptural accuracy.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

Last week we read about three books of the Old Testament, Isaiah, Psalms and Deuteronomy.  From the time of
the actual events in these books to the earliest textual evidence, Dead Sea Scrolls, was 500 to 1400 years.

Genesis, the first book of the bible and also mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, was closer to 4000
years.

Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament and also mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, was closer
to 0 years.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were scribed around 300 BC to 70 AD and does not mention Jesus or his ministry.  There-
fore, the Dead Sea Scrolls were most likely written at the end of the Old Testament to the beginning
of the New Testament.

A final note:  The Dead Sea Scrolls contain many fragments that are identical to the traditional text
found in the Hebrew Bible used today.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

Bible Accuracy 9

Posted: October 19, 2017 in Bible Accuracy

As we read last week, the Old Testament was copied over and over by scribes.  The earliest textual evidence we
have of the Old Testament is the Dead Sea Scrolls, written between 300 BC to 70 AD.

Let’s review three books of the Old Testament; Isaiah, Psalms and Deuteronomy.  What is the differ-
ence between the actual events of these three books and the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Isaiah took place around 740 BC to 686 BC.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were written between 300 BC to 70 AD, a dif-
ference of about 400 to 800 years.

Psalms (during King David’s life) took place around 1400 BC to 580 BC.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were written be-
tween 300 BC and 70 AD, a difference of about 300 to 1400 years.

Deuteronomy took place around 1400 BC.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were written between 300 BC to 70 AD, a dif-
ference of about 1100 to 1400 years.

Let’s compare the secular historic text from Bible Accuracy 7.  The difference between the actual
events to the earliest textual evidence is about 500 to 1500 years.

In comparison, the biblical historic text of Isaiah, Psalms, and Deuteronomy.  The difference between
the actual events to the earliest textual evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls is 500 to 1400 years.

The secular text time difference and the biblical text time difference is about the same, 500 to 1500 years.  There-
fore, if we consider the secular historic text to be accurate, we must consider the biblical historic
text to be accurate.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

 

Last week we read that five historic manuscripts were copied over and over by scribes.  The earliest textual evi-
dence we have are 500 to 1500 years after the actual events.

Let’s compare this to the earliest biblical textual evidence that has been discovered, the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Before we do that, what are the Dead Sea Scrolls?  In 1947, Bedonin teenagers were tending their goats and
sheep near the ancient settlement of Qumran located at the Northwest shore of the Dead Sea (lowest place on
earth).  They found a collection of large clay jars that contained the scrolls.  About 85% to 90% of the scrolls
were written on parchment made of processed animal skins known as vellum.  Most were goats and gazelle skins.

The Scrolls include fragments from every book in the Old Testament except Esther.  Some fragments
describe the first three days of creation from Genesis.  Some fragments describe the Ten Commandments.  The
book of Psalms is one of the best preserved biblical scrolls that contain 48 Psalms.

It is widely believed the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by the Essenes, a religious community of Jews.
The Essenes flourished for several hundred years from about 300BC to 70AD, possibly fleeing when the
Romans seized Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.  The Essenes devoted their lives to writing and preserving
sacred text.

Next week we will compare the five historic manuscripts against the Dead Sea Scrolls.  How long after the original
events were the Dead Sea Scrolls written.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

So far we have read that most of the books of the bible were written by the Prophets and Apostles.  They actually
lived through the events that were written.  But many have correctly determined that there are no original
manuscripts from the time of the events.  Are we sure they are accurate?

The same thing can be said about many of our secular history manuscripts.  Let’s review:

Iliad by Homer was about the Trojan War in the 13 century BC.  There are no original manuscripts.  They were
copied over and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from about 750BC, some 500 years
later.

Caesar’s Gallic Wars was written around 58-49 BC.  There are no original manuscripts.  They were copied over
and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from 900 years later.

Aristotle’s Poetics was written in the 4th century BC.  There are no original manuscripts.  They were copied over
and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from 1400 years later.

Histories by Herodotus was about the Greco-Persian Wars.  The wars lasted from 499 BC to 449 BC.  There are
no original manuscripts.  They were copied over and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from
900 AD, some 1350 years later.

Tacitus Annals was about the history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberious to Nero, 14 AD to 68 AD.
There are no original manuscripts.  They were copied over and over by scribes until the earliest textual evi-
dense is from 1515, some 1500 years later.

Next week we will compare the earliest textual evidence of the bible to the above historic manuscripts.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff